Little Twittering for Europe morphs into ‘let’s save Labour’

I don’t know about other progressives and Remain Alliance (Lib Dem, Green & PC) supporters but I’ve noticed that many of the Facebook Groups I subscribed to before the General Election who were backing Remain and also encouraging progressives to vote tactically are now little more than recruiting sergeants for trying to turn the Labour back into a Social Democrat Party.

My thoughts on this are:-

* Why did the centrists, moderates & social democrats leave Labour in the first place?
* Isn’t Labour now a Socialist Party which has thrown off its Blair era past to be a narrower church of the far left?
* Why do moderates, centrists and social democrats think they can return Labour to Blairism?
* Isn’t it better that Labour is a socialist party rather than a generation by generation see-saw party sometimes of the middle ground and sometimes of the far left?
* Haven’t we been here before when Kinnock ‘rescued’ Labour from the far left only for it to return there under Momentum/Corbynism?
* Why do moderates think they can get the left to relinquish power within Labour so it can become akin to Blairite again?
* If Labour is ‘rescued’ again how long will it stay moderate?
* How long will it take to ‘rescue’ Labour again?
* Is it even realistic to try to save Labour?

Being of the left and as someone who thinks of himself as a bit of a leftie I’ve often found that many Labour voters, supporters and indeed members are to the right of me as a Liberal and that’s both when Labour is moderate and when it’s left! My view has always been that Labour is too broad a church, ranging in support from working class ‘Tories’ to posh privately educated socialists and everything in between. I use the word ‘Tories’ quite deliberately but not in a derogatory way as many Labour factions talk about each other. What I mean is at heart they are actually quite right wing but they ally themselves to Labour because it’s their tribe; they’re no more progressive than I’m a Dutchman so to speak. Of course it was this section of the Labour family that the Labour leadership was pandering to prior to GE 2019. It led them to be all things and no things to most women and men on Brexit the biggest issue of the day; indeed their leader was neutral! That was never going to inspire anyone and of course it didn’t.

So Labour whilst being very much of the left under Momentum and Corbyn was actually singing the tune (well mumbling it quietly really) of its right wing supporters many of whom then promptly deserted Labour to vote for a far right alternative! You could not make this up but that’s what happened in GE 2019.

My point here is why are moderates, centrists and social democrats trying to save Labour? Is it because it’s a tribe they were born into and they feel they have to try to save it? If the motivation is tribalism then no good will come of it as tribalism is the fault-line in UK politics not its saviour. Labour’s ‘our way or no way’ approach to politics has bedeviled it and progressive politics over generations except for a brief period when Blair & Ashdown tried to promote inclusive center left politics. If Labour does swing back (and that presently is a very big if) towards social democracy it needs to want to work with other progressives in other political parties. If it pursues the mantra of everyone else on the left is a Tory then nothing will be achieved.

If you want to save Labour for it to become moderate, centrist and social democrat again then good luck to you but I fear you’ll have to keep doing it every 15 years or so, even if you do succeed, because fundamentally Labour is probably more comfortable as a socialist party. Remember in the Blair years when Labour activists often chimed in with the chorus of ‘we are old Labour’? Well they were and they’ve gained control of the party machine this time far more firmly than Michael Foot’s supporters or Militant ever did.

My advice is don’t waste your time if you think you can return Labour to centrist politics, that ship sailed a long time ago.

Jeremy Corbyn no mention – Brexit no mention – And that’s in Labour leaflets!

Being of the left but an opponent of Labour I thought I’d have a look at the leaflets they’ve put out in the Sefton Central Constituency. The striking thing is that in the ones I’ve seen there’s virtually no mention of Jeremy Corbyn or indeed Brexit.

When political parties all but ignore their own leaders in leaflets you can bet that they’re thinking that mentioning them will be a negative influence on voters. And I should know my party had Nick Clegg as its leader some years ago! So we can read into this that Jeremy Corbyn is not felt to be of assistance and he may well be perceived by Labour locally as being a drag on people being willing to vote them in the Sefton Central constituency.

And what about Brexit, the subject that Labour really don’t like taking about because they’re split all over the place regarding it. They’ve had more policy shifts, nudges and winks over it than I’ve had hot dinners so talking about it is also clearly seen to be drag on their vote. Say they’re Remain and their Brexiteer supporters get upset and head off to Mr Farage, say they’re Leave and their Remainers get upset and head off to the Lib Dems. Quite a dilemma, best to keep Mum and try to pretend that Leavers think they’re a Leave party and Remainers think they’re a Remain party! If they get into government they’ll decided which way to face then, if they don’t then they’ll keep running with the hare and hounds, or in Jeremy’s case staying ‘neutral’.

The interesting point here is that the Labour candiadte in Sefton Central was a member of Corbyn’s Sadow Cabinet in the last Parliament so you’d think they’d fully behind Jez and be promoting his Brexit nuetrality.

Labour’s Brexit problem – They are openly not Remainers

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/labour-mp-accuses-unite-boss-17247986

Whilst the report is about internal Labour Party difficulties the mere mention of McCluskey makes Remainers most unhappy. What on earth has a trade union leader been doing not fighting Brexit when it will in all probability lead to job losses and it threatens employment rights? It just makes no sense at all to me as a life long trade unionist.

And people like McCluskey must surely be at the heart of Labour being unable/unwilling to join the Remain Alliance? Here we have 3 political parties of the left PC, the Greens and Lib Dems fighting to stop Brexit because amongst many other things it is a threat to jobs and employment rights whilst a trade union leader with obviously huge influence within Labour leans towards Brexit. It beggars belief in my view.

Universal Basic Income (UBI)

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/uk-brink-swapping-universal-credit-16250463

Outside of Social Liberals this has been an economic/welfare policy which the two larger political parties have shown little if any real interest in to my knowledge to date.

It’s matter that I have blogged about before – see links below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/05/26/a-low-wage-culture-well-yes-if-you-live-outside-the-economically-overheated-south-east/

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/06/20/moderation-bugger-that-for-a-lark-im-too-angry-about-whats-happening-to-the-uk/

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/04/02/its-about-time-that-the-liberal-democrats-really-did-propose-radical-solutions-to-poverty/

My most recent recollection about UBI is that one of the Canadian Provinces (could be Alberta) is considering trying to bring in a form of Universal Basic Income via it’s Liberal Government.

If this social welfare approach really is moving into mainstream political debate in the UK then we should welcome the move. Having said that the irony of this obviously progressive policy being looked at at a time when the UK is suffering from the worst kind of regressive government (with a regressive Brexit supporting Official Opposition too) is not lost on me. So to hear that the Brexit supporting Labour leadership are backing a type universal income is more than a bit bizarre.

The poorest in our society can be helped by UBI but if you back Brexit which will make the poor poorer, as Labour does, then they are actually backing complete opposites!

Another example of Labour trying to face both ways at once?

Labour – How about stopping Brexit instead of whinging about talks to deliver it!

The BBC has the article on its website – see link below:-

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-48165373

Yes I know, the Labour leadership has made their party firmly a Brexit backing one but hey the vast majority of Labour’s members and supporters are actually Remainers! But never mind what your supporters think Mr Corbyn just jump in bed with the Tories to help them deliver a job loss, NHS busting Brexit whilst hoping those same supporters continue backing Labour even though you’re bailing the Tories out.

Labour’s big hitting backers are turning their back on the party in disgust

When life long high profile supporters like Tony Robinson walk away from Labour you know it’s in trouble. The Independent has the story on its website – see link below:-

www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tony-robinson-quit-labour-corbyn-a8898306.html

Another high profile former Labour baker, comedian Mike Harding, said this recently:-

Vot Lab. The Bail-Out Party. Overall it was a vote for the remain parties – 1000 seats lost to them. Lab for 56 yrs Active supporter. I and many more have left. You can bail the Tories out if you like – but we’re leaving in disgust for our childrens’ and grandchildren’s sakes.

As I say Labour’s in deep trouble and if its leadership really does bail out the Tories over Brexit, as it seems to be threatening to do, you can be sure that their troubles will deepen even more. Can anyone take the spade from Jez Corbyn, the hole he’s dug is very deep now…….

With thanks to Roy Connell and Keith Page for the leads to this posting